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Paperback Trauma and Recovery Book

ISBN: 0465087302

ISBN13: 9780465087303

Trauma and Recovery

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Book Overview

The groundbreaking work on trauma that remains a "classic for our generation" (Bessel van der Kolk, MD, author of The Body Keeps the Score)Trauma and Recovery is the foundational text on understanding... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

4 ratings


After years of therapy I've acknowledged my mother was equivalent to raw sewage that permeated everything.

This book saved my life.

I am trying not to cry while writing this review because of the incredible impact this great work of Judith Herman has had on my life. I first read the book 4 years ago (I was 19 at the time), at the suggestion of my therapist. Today it remains one of only two books on the topic that I have kept. I will never let go of this book. This is probably the most comprehensive book on PTSD ever written. It is lauded by just about every psychologist I have ever met. I have an extensive field of knowledge in the area of psychology just based on experience and self-education, and this book is a clinician's book to the fullest. It is exceedingly intelligent, informed, and compassionate all at once. People who read this book that do not have PTSD find it heartbreaking and difficult-- people who DO have PTSD that read this book find it life-shattering. That's where it starts. It starts with an extremely in-depth look at the biological underpinnings of PTSD, the concept of narrative memory vs. traumatic memory, and discussion of studies that have indicated that survivors process traumatic memory in the brain differently than they process normal, or narrative memory. The underlying message at the outset is that people who have survived trauma are dealing with fractured schemas and fragmented concepts of self -- whereas people who have survived prolonged, repeated trauma early in life never were able to form a cohesive self or schema in the first place. In other words, we're building from scratch. I don't believe for me more terrifying words have ever been spoken. Herman's language is deeply compassionate but almost surgical in its painful precision. She is so thoroughly educated and validating that it is hard not to be nauseated because it's so true and it's so real and... she makes it real in a concrete, scientific sense, more than just the emotional, "I'm okay, you're okay" sense. You realize for the first time that PTSD isn't just a bunch of jumbled feelings, but a systematic medical disorder with very predictable symptoms and psychological implications. That's where the hope begins -- once you understand that PTSD symptoms are the same for everyone -- whether a war veteran, a survivor of domestic abuse, terrorism, or a natural disaster -- you realize how not alone you really are. Nearly everyone has experienced something traumatic, but only 15% develop PTSD as a result. Complex-PTSD (prolonged, repeated trauma) is even rarer. It's easy to feel alone because it's not something people often talk about. But this book makes you confident, not only that you aren't alone, but that what you are suffering is a real and professionally recognized medical condition. Once you learn your disorder back and forward, you can learn how to recognize its stages and how to treat it. You don't see it as who you are anymore, but rather an external force you are learning to cope with. You recognize your strength as a survivor. More importantly, you learn

A work of art in the field of psychology

Was Judith watching us at home? Did she hide in the closet and take notes? You'll wonder if Judith Herman has the ability to see inside your thoughts after reading Chapter 5. As a survivor of child abuse and trauma, I was amazed by her ability to clearly define my thoughts, reactions and general "take" on life. If you are a survivor of ANY kind of trauma, READ THIS BOOK. My therapist, Dr. Zitlin in San Antonio, asked me to please read this book after one visit with him. Trauma and Recovery proves to me that recovery is actually possible. And in a way that just might work. This is like no other book I've ever read on trauma, child abuse or PTSD. I've read enough self help books to fill three hefty bags and finally I'm reading something that mirrors my own experience. It's compassion filled without losing credibility. Simply amazing. Please take the time to read this.

therapists and survivors: read chapter 5

Just read ch. 5 and you will be sold. As a person who has worked as a therapist with a variety of people and a variety of problems, I was stunned by the way that this book explains the impact of trauma. You need to read the concept of "complex ptsd," presented in ch. 6. Chs 5 and 6 elegantly present a framework for understanding people who have grown up in the fear of a terroristic household, whether with sexual abuse or not, whether with notable physical abuse or not. This framework acounts for the various problems suffered that are often described by clinicians as "borderline personality disorder," "somatization disorder," and other difficult/lets-ignore-them diagnoses. My feeling is that if you grew up in a scary, terroristic home, if you read chapter five you will believe this author was observing the whole time, and you may gain some insight into your own adult life and personality.
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